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Old 19-01-2013, 18:12
Forum Member
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 22,029
Re media consumption down the years, "piracy" or unorthodox ways of access have been how use-cases have been developed.

In the case of music - iTunes, We7, 7Digital etc would not have existed if Shawn Fanning hadn't pointed the way with the demand created by Napster in its original form - music being more convenient than lugging around a Discman and Caselogics.

Re film - getting it onto Home Video meant the following iterations.

VHS and Beta are bought by Early Adopters.
Films on tape are supplied initially by "Big Ron fromt he British Legion", the Kim Dotcom-alikes.
Although the studios kick off about this, it also proves there's a market out there. Matshushita and Sony start inking deals to get content onto home video. A market is born.

However, I remember that pewriod between about 1981 and 1983 when some titles were only on VHS and others were only on Beta - and some on both, depending on which studio they come from. Prices were pretty horrendous... the rental market is formed.

In about '84, one entity gets the rights to content and starts releasing films on videotape at the tenner mark - the home video sale market is born.

Any-any licensing is finally sorted - then Beta dies in a retail sense, in about 1986-87.

I reckon we're at about 1982-83 in the streaming market. Still too many exclusive deals and windows...

Again - the "pirates" pointed the way initially...

Most of us want content fairly priced, so we can play it on any of our devices - and we don't have to jump through hoops.

It's only been int he last 12 months that the retail experience offered by netflix et al has improved... but we need to get to a point where it really doesn't matter what device you have, or who you join - the material is available EASILY. The pirates have offered a better "retail experience" in the past... as they offered content the end customer couldn't get in the format they wanted it in.

In the same way - in 1982 you could only see ET at the cinema - people wanted to watch it at home. Big ROn created your market...

Most people tempted to stream from dodgy sites are only the same as those who may have bought VHS tapes at car-boot sales in the early days of home video.

Get a wholesale market organised for digital rights, get the product out there on the retail organisations' "shelves" - hell, maybe even organise a PRS-type clearinghouse for royalties to go back from each rental or slice off each subscription... get everything available to all streaming "retailers"...

You have just re-created the Home Video market for the streaming generation. Retailers can then build their customer bases, knowing they have access to all content. Studios can have their "exclusive" contracts... but with the wholesalers. Leave the retailers to buy their rights from that wholesale layer (buying from multiple wholesalers) and set them free.

Piracy drops back to the approx 5% level, and convenience leaps in the legit market.

Sound good?
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